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Winding Road

Gills Rock , WI



This winding stretch of road is on Highway 42 halfway between Gills Rock and Northport. Take Highway 42 north through Door County. As it nears the end of the peninsula at Gills Rock, the road veers due east towards the Washington Island Car Ferry. About 1.5 miles past Gills Rock, the winding road appears. One of the most famous stretches of road in the Midwest can be found at the tip of the Door County peninsula, where Highway 42 curves for no discernible reason as it nears Northport and the Washington Island Ferry dock. The curves make for a beautiful picture, a fun drive, and the obvious question "why all the curves?" One story has it that the road was constructed to weave around utility poles that originally went straight down the center of the road. Utility poles are now located to the west of the road, buffeted by a row of trees.

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But the more commonly cited reason for the 15 curves that wind Highway 42 through the woods says that the design of the road was influenced by famed landscape architect Jens Jensen. Jensen founded The Clearing Folk School in Ellison Bay and was an inspiring force behind the creation of The Ridges Sanctuary, but before that he was already established as the dean of landscape architects.